Update on BioPharma

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Biopharmaceutical company Axonyx Inc. reported Tuesday that it completed the last treatment period for its Alzheimer's disease drug candidate Phenserine in late stage clinical trials.

Shares of Axonyx rose 35 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $6.45 in morning trading on the Nasdaq.

The company said it plans to spend the next several weeks analyzing data from the Phase III clinical trial and report study results by March.

The study enrolled more than 375 Alzheimer's patients who were either treated with 15 milligrams of Phenserine twice a day, or 10 milligrams of Phenserine twice a day or placebo, and then given standard memory and cognition tests. The trial started in June 2003.

Phenserine is an enzyme and inhibitor being developed to treat patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. The company said two additional Phase III clinical trials were initiated for the treatment in the second half of 2004.

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